Des Moines Art Festival
Art fans will want to visit Western Gateway Park between June 22 and 24. Over 185 of the nation’s top professional artists will display their work. Jewelry, sculptures, ceramics and mixed media pieces will be displayed and available for purchase. Street performers and musicians will also be featured at this free event. The festival opens at 11 a.m. on June 22.
Downtown Farmers Market
The Farmers Market returns to the Historic Court District downtown on May 5. Vendors will span nine city blocks every Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon. Everything from fresh fruit to artisan breads will be available for purchase. Local art and entertainment will also be featured. On select Saturdays, Pioneer Hi-Bred will present science related activities to children in their “Earn Your PhB” tent. Dress comfortably and be prepared to try something new.
Blank Park Zoo
Animals of the Ice Age are featured at the zoo’s indoor exhibit until June 10. Check out a saber-tooth cat and the rest of the zoo animals. Get a close-up view of a wallaby in the Australian section where some of the animals roam free. Take your mom out for a special Mother’s Day meal with the zoo’s Take Mom to the Tropics event May 13. Seating times are at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. for $24 a meal. Regular zoo admission is $7.
Tour the historic home of Iowa’s governors. Keep an eye out for Governor Branstad as you go through the 18,000 square foot mansion built by Iowa’s first millionaire. Guided tours are available Tuesday through Saturday every hour starting at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $10.
Des Moines Botanical Center
Smell the flora and fauna in the Botanical Center’s dome. Explore the bonsai garden and stop for a snack at the Riverwalk Café. Take a picture for Facebook next to the floral exhibit in the show beds. Admission is $5. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
Drake Stadium will be hosting another track and field event June 6-9. Both men and women will be competing. The javelins and feet will be flying starting at 2:30 p.m. An all-session packet of tickets starts at $75 for reserved seating.
Kosama Warrior Run
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park is hosting this 5K race July 14. The race’s theme is water and will include 30 obstacles. Racers can look forward to creative ways to cool off starting at 9 a.m. Admissions for racers is $45. No cost for spectators.
Val Air Ballroom
A variety of events will be featured at this venue over the summer. Kid Ink will perform May 26. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $20. Bow Wow will perform June 13. Tickets start at $30.
Smokey Row Coffee Co.
This full service restaurant includes an old fashioned soda fountain. Get a Tornado (milkshake mixed with candy) for $4.75 or a scoop of Caramel Combustion ice cream for $2.25. Serves breakfast items, sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads. Open daily.
Des Moines has not escaped the cupcake trend. This bakery features a daily flavor schedule of cupcakes and other desserts. Get a Blueberry Pancake or Give Me More S’Mores Cupcake for $3. Miniature cupcakes are $1.50.